muzzlehatch (4974) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 20, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 16, 2006 October 2002: Bottled, at the Map Room in Chicago. I’m among the yea-sayers on this one; a hugely malty, sweet, unbalanced behemoth of a smoked beer, its up there with the works of Brauerei Heller Trum and bears out the reputation of Kalamazoo. Deep, deep red in color with almost no head; smokey aroma could be a little stronger at first, gets a bit more pronounced as it warms but also just a might too sweet even for me. Flavor is smoke, licorice, caramel, cherries; smokiness thins a bit as it warms and a more barley-wine character takes over. Not quite perfect, it may be a bit too syrupy and doesn’t have much hop kick at all (not entirely sure it needs any though), but this is a worthy 2nd-tier effort from this brewer, which would make it first-rank for just about anyone else! Go Map Room. omhper (25941) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - JUN 5, 2003
January 2006: 12 oz bottle, cellar temperature. Very little fizz when opened, not surprising...murky brown-black with just a tiny lasting dark ring of foam...balsamic vinegar/port wine quality in the nose at first, but this quiets down quickly and smoked meat takes over....still awesomely smooth, sweet, vastly smoky in the body, more chocolaty than before, oxidation is light and to my taste just about perfect...guessing this isn’t going to improve but I don’t think it’s gone much downhill yet. Rating unchanged.
Bottled. Cloudy nut brown. Stong Bamberg style beechwood smoke aroma. Big chewy stable maltiness. Long, bitter bacon smolkey finish. In no way subtle, but I'm a great fan of heavily smoked beers, and this is just spot on what I like. Thanks hopsrus for sending this and many other unique beers! Eyedrinkale (3235) - Astoria, New York, USA - MAY 26, 2005
12 oz bottle. Pours cloudy brown/orange with a small, thick head. Aroma is smokey with fruits and nuts. Awesome. Taste is caramel and tobacco, in fact, a LOT of tobacco. Texture is smooth and silky. Really good. Hops are still in there. awaisanen (1310) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 17, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 18, 2006 Coppery, California Redwood coloring with practically no head at all. Almost could be mistaken for a Belgian Quadruple, but without the trademark yeasty aromas. Smells like delcious smoked salmon, and I’m not saying that to be totally obvious with this impression. The smoked meat aromas have a greasy, fatty quality to them that could not be found in a fish outside of the trout/salmon species. Some red berry aromas lurk beneath the smokiness, but they’re difficult to discern over the smoky dominance. Wow. I’m very impressed by the level of balance between the different flavor elements. Its almost like drinking a smoked brown Belgian Strong Ale. Sweet, vinous qualities. Carbonation is mild and it tastes as though the beer has had ample time to mellow out and leave behind its sticky sweet flavor residues. A bit of a honey smack at the conclusion. I’m very sad to see my glass empty completely and conclude this fine tasting experience. auerbrau (3206) - Ithaca, New York, USA - FEB 18, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 6, 2009 Pours a clouded deep mahogany and ruby brown orange fringed with a rim of off-white. Aroma of smoked bacon, with grilled swordfish. This over a medly of aged fruits and malt. Over a stong ale? Wow! Has greasy meat and salmon touches, that are not unpleasent. Flavors are quite savory at first, with a hint of gentle garlic and dill, mingled with smoked salmon fat. Strong fruit and cherries kick in, much like a classic dark strong belgian. But, it continues with an underlying gentle and delicate smoked pork fat. Accompanies the gentle malt, fruit and apples with grace. Bright and well presented to the palate. The deft mingling of gentle campfire and pork fat dance with caramel and toffee in a graceful manner and overall harmony. I’m really impressed by how well the two disparate flavors intermingle so well. This is truly a special treat. Signs of mellowing and gentle and fantastic ageing are true in the ale side of this beer. A hint of cranberry vinous notes in the backend. In the aftertaste the smoked woodchips mix with a gentle bread and yeast. All around, fantastic! Palate is sweet and clingy, with an everlasting pleasant flavor that I wish would never end. Thanks cquiroga!
Dickinsonbeer (5073) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - DEC 18, 2006
Had at Willblake’s place. Pours a deep dark woody brown, haze, and a thin head. Very sticky sweet caramel. light soy, oily nuts, and a smooth deep smokiness- light campfire- heavy on the smokey meats and smoked salmon aromas. Thickly sweet flavor, molasses, caramel, chocolate nutty hints, good balance of woody and meaty smoke. Huge thick body for a smoked beer. Held up surprisingly well with very little oxidation. Damn tasty overall. lampeno420 (320) - Zeeland, Michigan, USA - SEP 21, 2007
Really loved this one. What a great taste. First smell is smoked and wood chips. Almost reminded me of smoked salmon, which i read on the description later. Maybe they just should go together. I can’t say enough good things about this one. Loved it! tjthresh (1872) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - DEC 31, 2007
12 ounce bottle shared by Mike. He made me rate it blind. The pour was murky brown with some red highlights. The first whiff hit me with a bit of oxidation. Then it was like I walked into a smoke house with a bit of fruit. There was some soy sauce saltiness as well. The flavor was rich, bold, but smooth smoke. There was a underlying toffee sweetness. Full body. Medium carbonation. Smoke dryness, and malt sweetness. Very rich. It was really a smoke bomb, but sooooo easy to drink. Mike has been overly generouse many times. This is probably the second best beer I’ve been able to try thanks to him. 17thfloor (2444) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 7, 2008
[6 year old bottle, thank you Dukefan! ] I was quite disappointed that they didn’t stamp the batch number on the bottle! Anyways, pours a very murky dark orange/amber with a minimal head. Strong sweet smokey aroma with cherries and hickory bbq. Flavor follows suit, sweet and smokey, big malty rich caramelized applewood & hickory smoked bacon and lots of bitter cherry. Medium mouthful that is lightly syrupy yet still smooth and very palatable. Can we have this again please?